Garage Sales, Apartment Hunting and Mid-Life Crisis Retreats

What work? #springfever Untitled
Untitled breaking out the bikini!

Lots of things have been happening here lately and it’s a shame I haven’t been blogging them because now I have about a million years’ worth of things to talk about. I’ll have to gloss over a lot.

It’s spring which means two things to me:

1. The weather is awesome and we need to be outdoors all the time.
2. Summer is around the corner.

Summer being around the corner is a bit stressful for me because that is when I’m planning on moving back to the beach. This is a good thing but I have so many mixed feelings about it.

On one hand it feels like the right thing to do—the only thing to do. We have to get out of this town. It makes me sad because a lot of my family is in this town and I want to stay with them. I want to take them with me out of this town.

fresh picked! hold them carefully!

Every day Bug has anxiety about school and I hope that moving back to a neighborhood that we know and love will fix a lot of that. I went apartment-hunting a few weekends ago and fell in love with the new bright happy big apartment complexes that happen to be in the number-eight-in-the-country school districts. Some of the complexes have schools across the street that we could walk to and playgrounds and swimming pools and farmers markets and…it just goes on and on with wonderfulness.

Of course then there’s the fact that they are about five hundred to a thousand dollars out of my price range.

Work is picking up. My books are selling. Things are looking really positive but the risk is great. I don’t want to sign a lease and then have a slow month and not be able to make it. I know I can always move back to this town. My parents would let me move in with them. It’s just that I want to make it on my own so bad. I guess this is what everyone wants. And maybe I will make it. I’m spending $300 a month on gas just taking Bug back and forth to see her dad so there’s that. If we moved closer there would be savings and less wear and tear on my car and me. The weekends are hard, as you know.

I’m not sharing this to get advice. I think I’m adviced out. I run every scenario over in my head and all the many many many variables every night from 3am to 4am and sometimes more. There are so many wild cards. I could get a new job. I love what I’m doing and I’m doing well but maybe a steady paycheck could give me the security I need. I’ve been thinking about being an assistant to an event planner. That’s a dream that I’ve never really seen to its fruition. Does anybody know anybody in Orange County who needs a kick-ass assistant?

ready to move My Parisian Apartment

Since I’ve got moving on the brain I’ve started packing. It is a bit early to be boxing things up but I can’t sit around and not do something. It’s hard to feel settled in a place when you know you are going to be leaving it in a few months. Now I know what all you military families go through. I’m not planting tomatoes. I’m not watering my backyard grass. It just isn’t my home anymore. It makes me sad because I love this place but I don’t see a future here. I see the neighborhood getting and worse and worse. I see crime every day. Kids with ankle bracelets and I’m not talking about jewelry. It’s not getting better here. I can’t stay here and be part of it. If I don’t leave, someday I won’t be able to and Bug will be engaged to someone who just got out of prison.

I know. I’m being overly dramatic. But this is what single moms do. Because we have to.

tomorrow

I had a garage sale and got rid of a lot of stuff. You know, because less stuff means less stuff to pack and move and if I can’t move into one of those fancy nice bright white apartments then I’m probably going to be moving into a studio with a hot plate and no windows and a carpet that smells like cat pee. Less stuff is good. Plus, I made a couple hundred bucks getting rid of stuff I don’t need. That felt good too.

her "cute" pose Fresh Squeezed Lemonade!

Bug and her neighborhood buddies sold lemonade and made about twenty bucks off being cute. It was fun.

garage sale

for sale

A couple of other neighbors had a garage sale too. It was like a block party. We all talked and hung out. It was great. I’m going to miss them. I talk about being afraid in this neighborhood all the time and it’s funny because I’ve made friends with all my neighbors, even the bad guys. The best way to deal with the bad guys is to look them in the face and get to know them. They are good people who have just made bad choices or been caught up in bad circumstances. I love them. I wish I could move them all to the beach with me. I wish I were a zillionaire and I could give them all jobs. I wish I could rescue everyone.

It’s been a really interesting year. I know it happened for a reason. It’s been a mile marker. I will never forget this part of my journey.

And speaking of journeys…I’ve finally settled on a theme for my big 40th Birthday Bash:

Untitled

I’m calling it a Mid-Life Crisis Retreat. Whaddayathink?

State of the Disunion*

helping Daddy

Naturally, I don’t like to talk about The Divorce much on this blog. It’s not that I don’t like to share. I do. I share too much. It’s just that my divorce is as much of a mystery to me as it is to you and I don’t know what is okay to talk about and what is not. Mostly, I just want to tread lightly so I don’t break anything else. Everything feels so fragile.

Over the last few months things had gotten out of balance between Toby and me. Nothing serious. We still both put Bug first and that’s the most important thing but I was feeling like the arrangements weren’t so very fair. I didn’t know how to tell him.

I had to talk to a lot of my friends, I had to write that Sister Forever Friend post and get a lot of kind comments and emails. I had to pray and get up the nerve. It took forever for me to get up the nerve. Finally I just called Toby up and told him what was bothering me.

And guess what? Toby completely agreed with me. He didn’t fight me at all. I was expecting World War Three and there was no fight. Not even one harsh word. I was so relieved.

filling the bird feederhelping

So instead of our usual trek to the beach, Toby came out to visit us in the sticks. It was a huge lifesaver for me because I’ve had work coming out my ears, my car has been in the shop for some body work and I’ve just been tired. Too tired to clean the house. Too tired to get things done.

It was so nice to just stay home for the weekend for a change. I know this custody thing will always be hard. It’s the life a divorced person has to face but it was so wonderful to not have to give up Friday and Saturday for a change. Not that we’re changing our arrangement. I’ll probably go back to the usual trek. But Toby agreed that to make things fair he would come visit us once in a while instead. Bug still has ballet and gymnastics classes out in Orange County so we’ll probably just limp through the rest of this school year until we move back to the beach BUT it just felt so wonderful that he understood how hard it’s been on me. I guess I just needed that.

easy does it

Toby made us a bird feeder while he was out here. We took a family trip to the hardware store and made a day of it. It was lovely.

seed seed seed

warm spring weather

Now I have this really lovely birdhouse feeder tray thing to look at. The birds love it. The cats love it.

bird party bird watching

Bug loves it.

Three more months of this and then things will get easier. Maybe. But everybody is right. It does get better.

*Thank you Bethany for coining that phrase. I think we are going to have a State of the Disunion meeting every six months now.